"This is purely CIA instigated tripe. When we get down to the nuts and bolts of the technical question of Iran’s uranium enrichment program and whether or not there’s any infrastructure in Iran that supports a nuclear weapons program and the IAEA technical find says there is none,” Ritter said.
Mohammed ElBaradei, the head of the IAEA, said in an interview last week with Al Arabiya Television that he would resign from the agency if Iran is attacked and warned that a military strike against the country would be catastrophic.
"I don’t believe that what I see in Iran today is a current, grave and urgent danger. If a military strike is carried out against Iran at this time … it would make me unable to continue my work,” ElBaradei said. "A military strike, in my opinion, would be worse than anything possible. It would turn the region into a fireball,” he said, emphasizing that any attack would only make the Islamic Republic more determined to obtain nuclear power."
Israel Not Involved
Ritter said an attack on Iran would come in the form of a “sustained aerial bombardment.” He added that a military strike would not involve Israel as asserted last weekend by John Bolton, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, who told Fox News that Israel would attack Iran after the presidential election in the fall. Moreover, Ritter said a report in The New York Times last week that alleged Israel conducted a major aerial exercise over the eastern Mediterranean as a warning to Iran is simply untrue.
“For Israel to strike Iran, and remember Iran isn’t Iraq, Iran has a viable air-defense system, an Air Force, radar, and Israel would have to suppress it all and it can’t do it,” Ritter added. “Israel just doesn’t have the capability. Israel does not have the ability to initiate and sustain major combat operations against Iran. Israel is not going to start this fight. It will be the United States. All this talk about Israel getting involved I minimize that. Israel’s not going into Iran.”
Ritter said Bolton’s comments is an indicator that the “clock is running out” for ideologues in the Bush administration.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that John McCain is not going to become the next president of the United States of America, which means the next administration has the potential of deviating in a meaningful fashion away from the policies of the current administration,” Ritter said. “Clearly, the Bush administration is populated by ideologues that are very serious about what they want to accomplish. They aren’t playing games here. They aren’t children. They are serious. They believe there is a threat to the United States and that the United States has to take action. Why I bring this up is that the clock is running out for them.”
Congress Refuses to Act
Ritter had some tough words for Washington lawmakers for continuously failing to put any obstacles into place to block the Bush administration from even attempting to attack Iran without first consulting Congress.
“So when you put all of this together you start to see that there is not only a real risk of war but that those who would like to do it see that there aren’t any obstacles being put in the way of their accomplishing this, which makes the likelihood of military action even greater. Everyday that goes by without Congressional action is another day that reinforces that there will be a military strike against Iran.”
Ritter has been trying to pass along his intelligence analysis on Iran to Congress for some time. He said “given the political situation that exists I don’t think you’re going to find any politician on either side of the political spectrum reaching out to me or talking with me directly.”